Books & Restaurants

Quinoa and Black Bean Burger and a “Grain Mains” Book Giveaway

September 10, 2012
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The media is awash in the benefits of “whole grains” these days. So much that the big food companies have jumped on board touting “whole grains” in everything from cookies to crackers to Cheerios. While my guess is that those products might be slightly better for you than their more processed counterparts, I can’t help but feel this is a bit akin to greenwashing.

This is why I find myself trying to cook with whole grains in their original form more and more. The benefits are clear; whole grains are good for the body. They fill you up with soluble and non-soluble fiber which encourages you to eat less and aids in digestion. They are a heart healthy food, scouring the body of cholesterol and can help cut the risk of diabetes. In addition, not only do they taste good, but they are easy on the wallet, especially when …

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Roasted Halibut with Radicchio-Pancetta Sauce, Peas and Artichokes from “Good Fish”

June 13, 2011
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Cooking seafood is one of those things which many people find intimidating. I can understand why; most fresh fish and shellfish need to be cooked quickly, yet with care not to overcook. In addition, many people don’t have a lot of experience eating seafood beyond fish and chips and shrimp cocktail and swear they don’t enjoy fish (most likely because they have a bad association with poorly prepared or low quality product).

Fortunately, there’s a new cookbook out there which can dispel most of this uncertainty in an easy to use, approachable manner. Becky Selengut’s book, Good Fish: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the Pacific Coast is one of the most thorough books on cooking seafood I’ve seen in a long time. It’s beautifully presented and the friendly, no-nonsense take on cooking fish and shellfish is refreshing and non-intimidating for novice cooks. In fact, each chapter contains five recipes, ranging from …

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Pig Candy (Bacon Peanut Brittle) and the Good Meat Book

November 15, 2010
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It seems like everywhere you look in the last couple of years bacon is a key ingredient in everything from savory to sweet, from casseroles to cupcakes, so I guess putting it in candy makes sense in some weird way.  I’m not late to the party here, I’ve simply been trying to avoid the bacon frenzy and not buy into the hype. Bacon is trendy, and like all trends it will be replaced by something else soon enough and then we can all go back to having it with our eggs in the morning. I was happy to ignore the trend until I saw the recipe for “Pig Candy” in the book Good Meat: The Complete Guide to Sourcing and Cooking Sustainable Meat and suddenly, my mind was changed.

Good Meat, is a weighty hardcover book filled with over 200 recipes and absolutely stunning photos of both raw primal cuts …

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55 Knives (e)Cookbook

May 25, 2010
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I get a lot of offers to “participate in something exciting” which usually isn’t either exciting or really an offer.
Most of the time, these “offers” are a thinly veiled way of saying, “Hey, I like your stuff, gimme some free recipes and photos and in return I’ll ‘promote’ you while I make all the money and you do all the work.”

Ummm…no thanks.

Sometimes though, these requests turn out to be the real deal. Last year I was approached by fellow blogger Nick from www.macheesmo.com who asked if I would like to contribute to a cookbook he was putting together with recipes from a total of 55 bloggers (hence the name “55 Knives”). The difference here is that he wasn’t just asking for free stuff and for other people to do all the work.

First and foremost this was a labor of love and his focus was …

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How to Make Fresh Pork Sausage

May 18, 2010
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Sausage is like the chicken soup of the meat world. From juicy Italian pork sausages, to spicy Mexican chorizo, to the firm and dry sausages in Asia, almost every culture has their version. Most likely this widespread culinary theme comes from frugality. How better to use all the odds and ends of the animal?

Making bacon from scratch last summer was a revelation. Not only was it great tasting, but it was easy and soon we were on the hunt for what to make next. My mom wanted to make prosciutto, but I thought trying to cure an entire pig’s leg was a bit ambitious for our next porktastic project. I bought her Michael Ruhlman’s book Charcuterie for her birthday and since then we’ve been talking about making sausage from scratch at home, including stuffing it into casings. Fortunately, I already had the grinder attachment for my Kitchen Aid Mixer …

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